Academia Sinica yesterday raised its forecast for Taiwan’s GDP growth this year to 5.05 percent, from the 4.24 percent it projected in December last year, as an improving global economy is bolstering exports and private investment is expected to more than offset subdued consumer activity.
The upward revision came after exports fared strongly in the first half of the year, with the momentum forecast to extend through the rest of the year, it said.
Exports are expected to expand 15.21 percent year-on-year to NT$14.66 trillion (US$523.48 billion) this year, while imports are predicted to increase 15.98 percent to NT$11.17 trillion, thanks to a rapid economic recovery in the US, Europe and other parts of the world, Academia Sinica research fellow Ray Chou (周雨田) told an online news conference in Taipei.
That would give Taiwan a trade surplus of NT$3.45 billion, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier, on the back of solid demand for electronics used in smartphones, laptops, wearables, televisions and vehicles, Chou said.
Non-tech products should also benefit from inventory replenishment as governments worldwide step up infrastructure spending and people increasingly return to leading normal lives, he said.
In US dollar terms, exports and imports surged 30.99 percent and 28.63 percent year-on-year respectively in the first six months of this year.
While the pace might remain vigorous, it could slow moving forward due in part to a high base effect, Academia Sinica said.
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the world’s top 5G smartphone chip designer, on Tuesday said that it was looking at flat revenue with a slight upward bias for this quarter, despite the arrival of the high season for technology products.
Apple Inc on Tuesday said that component shortages would affect sales of its iPhones and iPads this quarter.
Academia Sinica expects private investment to grow 8.9 percent this year as local semiconductor firms aggressively invest in advanced technologies to maintain their competitive edge and expand capacity to meet customer needs.
Taiwanese shipping companies are also investing in new container vessels to help ease a global shortage, which has slowed delivery times and contributed to port congestions and record-high freight rates.
Domestically, private consumption is forecast to increase by a mild 2.05 percent from last year, affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and disease prevention measures, Chou said.
The outbreak appears to be under control and the government might soon introduce stimulus programs to reinvigorate consumer spending, Chou said, urging policymakers to distribute consumer vouchers as early as possible if they plan to do so to support affected businesses.
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